Friday, September 30, 2016

Personal Revival

When people came to Jesus to have their needs met, very often He redirected their thinking. He taught them to lift their eyes from their own daily necessities and seek God first. He told them to "seek first the Kingdom of God . .."(Matthew 6:33). In the same way, the psalmist in Psalm 111, encourages his listen­ers to look to God first, who will then meet their needs. (Psalm 111:4-5) If we truly want to see and experience God at work in our lives, we first need to experience God on an intimate level. Just you and God . . . me and God! Remember what love was like? The stares . . . the letters (yes, real letters!) . . . the long phone calls late at night. While today it may be snapchat, text messages, and emails, it's still the same. All we needed was to see that special someone . . To hear their voice or see their face. Love equals time and time equals love . . . QUALITY time!
"But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."(1 John 1:7)
Seeking people in order to get closer with the Lord will never truly satisfy the urgent need for a revival with God. Seeking revival will not satisfy the hunger either. Oh, it will give a temporary high. It will provide a short-lived jolt much like a good cup of hearty coffee. But it's just that . . . a quick fix.
We need a lasting sense of joy that only comes form an intimate, personal, and REAL experience with the Savior! Start in the morning . . . EVERY morning. Seek His voice . . . His face . . . His words. It begins with a moment and grows to a day-long love affair and blossoms into a life time of walking hand-in-hand with the one Who first loved us!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Forecasted Storms

Therefore, whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on a rock; and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. (Matthew 7:24-25)
As Jesus was teaching and giving examples of what actually following Him would look like, He concluded by referring to life as a series of storms. The winds blow . . . the rains come . . . the thunder roars and the lightning flashes. Raging waters bring powerful currents of uncertainty. However, the one who is solidly entrenched IN the Rock will stay planted and not be uprooted! Where are our roots planted today? Are they deeply rooted or simply surface roots? The deeper the root the stronger the tree. The more solid the foundation, the more solid the structure. If we are deeply rooted and solidly dug in to Jesus and His principles, then storms may rattle our walls or shake our window panes, but we will be able to remain STANDING. The storms ARE coming! Have we dug in deeply to the ROCK?

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Teaching toward the future...

And whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes Me. (Matthew 18:5)
The innocence of a child . . . There is nothing more pure nor simple. Eyes wide opened . . .ready to learn and experience life and all it offers. What better time and better opportunity to show and teach the love of Jesus! Yet to deceive such a child or neglect such a child is deadly! (Matthew18:6) Take the time to be Jesus to someone today The life you save may be your own!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Must See . . .

Don’t you know that your body is a sanctuary of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God in your body. 1Corinthians 6:19-20
Everything we do we do for Christ. It also sets the example for our young people. I am convinced these kids need to SEE Christ at work in the most desperate of ways . . . I was convicted yesterday of how casual I can be. We must know what we show....without compromise! What must you do to be more like Christ?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Defend This House!

You ran well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? This persuasion does not come from Him Who calls you. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:7-9)
Why do we fall for such simple lies and deception? While we know and believe Truth, many times we fall for the most silly of deceptions from the evil one. If we know that creeps around always trying to trick, steal, deceive, and even kill and destroy, than why are we not more on our toes? We get too comfortable! Ask the Lord today to help us to become more vigilant. The best offense is a good defense. The more we go to His Word, seek fellow believers and surround ourselves with Godly activity, the more we are able to recognize the enemy! We must strengthen the line and defend this house!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Harvest Time . . . Check the Gardens!

But also for this very reason (the gift of life God has granted us), giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is short-sighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. ( 2 Peter 1:5-9)
As Peter senses his coming death, he is sure to remind his followers of the responsibility all believers have to GROW in faith. It is simply not enough to be assured of NOT going to hell! As we have been granted an eternal relationship with our Lord and Savior, we now have a responsibility to grow in CHRISTian graces and character. We have NO excuses! As believers, as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are to be developing fruit, or other disciples. After all, this was Jesus' very command as He left this earth (Matthew 28:18-20). We are to go out and make DISCIPLES, teaching them all the things we have learned! As we grow in grace, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, and love, we will naturally bring others to know Christ. It will become a way of life! It's time to check the garden . . . How is the fruit coming along?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Active Faith

"O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him here to me." And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said,"Why could we not cast it out?" So Jesus said to them "Because of your unbelief, for assuredly I say to you, if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:17-21
Faith IS action. Thinking and praying are necessary elements, but the true test of our faith is when we actually begin to take the steps it takes to "walk it out." Prayer IS action. It puts us in contact with God. Fasting IS action. It allows us to focus on the will of God rather than our desires. However, EXPECTING is also an action. We simply do not sit and wait, but we act in expectation. We look for God to work and we walk confidently that He will. Even if the people or the situation does not change, we will!
I can recall numerous times when we have seen God work, yet more times when I have failed Him!
In the account above from Matthew, the boy had an issue. However, the disciples also had issues! How do we expect others to believe if we do not? Where is the evidence in our lives? What is holding us back? We will never know the works God can do in and through us until we indeed "walk by faith and not by sight."

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Personal Space Invaded

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:23-24)
Letting others in on our business is a good thing. Everyone does not have to know everything about us, but there should be a chosen and trusted few who should have permission into our lives to keep us grounded and connected to the "vine". We also need to be sure to connect to the Body in a physical way, not simply by radio or TV! Every now and then we need our PERSONAL SPACE INVADED! Regular corporate worship, prayer gatherings, small group studies and fellowships, all lead to a healthy spiritual and social life. In addition, those one or two trusted friends who can ask the tough questions honestly and in love also keep us from getting too stuck on ourselves. If we are constantly seeing our own reflection in the mirror, we receive a slanted view. Every once in a while we need the true picture that can only come from someone else! Let's not get caught up in this cyber world of bedside baptist, I-pad inspiration, radio revival, and cell phone salvation! We need the human touch . . . the face-to-face . . . the one on one and group encounters. After all, Jesus came in the flesh, not via technology!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

How can this be?

Jesus answered (Nicodemus) and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." . . . " Nicodemus answered and said to Him, "How can these things be? Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel and do not know these things?" (John 3:3,9-10)
The résumé is impressive: A Pharisee — one of the intellectual guardians of the Law. . . Member of the Sanhedrin — the esteemed ruling council. . .Israel’s teacher — the authority, the one whose opinion could sway the vote, the one whose words were most quoted. . .Most impressive. Nicodemus is at the top of the religious ladder, looking down. . .But the view from the top is, at best, disappointing. And now, he steps down from that ladder to walk the streets. How can this be?
Searching. . .?
Have you been "born again"?

Monday, September 19, 2016

I Surrender!

For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all things tempted as we are, yet without sin.(Hebrews 4:15)
Many times we feel as though we are the only one going through things. Our teens feel like this generation is more challenged than any other. Our children believe they have it worse than any other children. Even adults, mature in the faith, will often go to God with the question; "Why me God?" James advises us all as to why we face so many challenges in life. . .
. . .the testing of your faith produces perseverance. (James 1:3)
Whether we have put the challenge upon ourselves through our own actions or it is a test from God to strengthen us, the point is that all the struggles we go through can and will work out for our good if we allow God to take control. However, we must understand that we cannot do it alone. We must first admit that we need help . . . from our "High Priest" in heaven and from our fellow believers here on earth.
SURRENDERING is the key to victory!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Between a rock and The Rock

I have called you by your name: You are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall flame scorch you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior . . . (Isaiah 43:1-3)
Is it not good to know that God has our back, front, sides,and is above and below us as well? All around, everywhere we go, God goes with us as we walk with Him. Through good times and bad, He goes with us. He is there for us when everyone else seems to be attacking, abandoning, and even a abhoring us . . . for His sake. Many times it is a challenge to stand, even the midst of "believers", yet we must. Try as we must to be friendly to all peoples, when confronted with the truths of the Gospel many will take offense and lash out. However, this is nothing new. We only have to recall how the Pharisees treated a loving, trusting, forgiving Jesus! At times we confront and at times we simply shake the dirt from our sandals and move on. Stay focused and stay firm. The days are shortening . . .

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Blessings all around me . . .

Every Christian is answerable to Jesus for how he or she lived life. We will not stand before the Great White Throne. (Revelation 20:11) That is where unbelievers will be judged. Instead, we will go before Christ's judgment seat and give an account of ourselves. What we'll be judged on is the quality of our work. God has given every believer an individual purpose, along with the personality, talents, and spiritual gifts needed to fulfill it. The question that will be answered at Christ's judgment seat:
Did I live out my purpose to honor and glorify God?
Standing before Christ's judgment seat is something to look forward to. We need not fear, since we are beloved co-heirs with Christ (Rom. 8:17, 34). Because of His sacrifice, we have a right to the treasures of heaven. He is eager to bestow them as a reward for faithfulness and obedience.
Therefore, we make it our aim whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we all must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:9-10
I am thankful to be around so many who really care . . . about others, about the Lord, and about the work they do and the legacy they are leaving behind. It's not just about the rewards in eternity, but also about the impact we are having now FOR eternity! God bless you all! www.tsninthebeginning.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Silence is DEADLY!!!

Behold, the Word of the Lord is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it. Therefore, I am full of the fury of the Lord. I am weary of holding it in. . . . For I will stretch out my hand against the inhabitants of the land, says the Lord. (Jeremiah 6:10-12)
Why won't people listen? Why will they not see the signs and hear the message? Has Satan sealed up the ears and blinded the eyes so much? Has he made the noise of the world so loud that God's Word is not only misunderstood but not even recognized anymore? How can one choose this dark, evil, and ill-fated world over the promises of our God?
Finally, one more question: Have we, the people of God, simply been quiet for too long?

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

We NEVER walk alone!

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him Whom loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall seperate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-38>
To my son:
Though I am your Father, you have no notion of my omnipotence. You truly have no notion of my greatness. How few people know how mighty I am. How few people have tasted a little of my eternal greatness. How few people know who I am. And it hurts me that so many things are spoken as of me, that I have never said. But now I speak to you, my child. And I show you my heart. You’re at home with me, my child. You are welcome. You belong to me. Here is where your home is. You are with me. And I declare you are free. Everything is fulfilled by my Son.
Imagine hearing these words from God Himself! Listen deeply. As we struggle, we sometimes wonder if we are in it alone. Does anyone care about our struggles? Am I all alone in this? But God . . . . We are "at home" with the Creator . . . the King of all kings . . . the Lord of all Lords. He loves us so so much that we cannot even comprehend it until we are so alone that we have only Him. Yet we have Him! He is better, deeper, wiser, more understanding, the most forgiving, most loving, the best we could ever imagine. So as we are at our lowest point in life . . . we find our Father. Feel His embrace. Cherish His love. Rest in the confidence that He loves you and me with an unending and agape love. Walk in His confidence today!!!!!

Monday, September 12, 2016

One . . .Under God!

For as many of you were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you all are ONE in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:27-28)
We are called to be a peculiar people . . . A people set apart. (1 Peter 2:9). We are to set the standard for the world, not follow a standard far below that which Christ has set. If He could humble Himself to honor His Father, despite the shame and ridicule, than why can we not honor Him with our lives? Why must we make excuse after excuse as to why we cannot follow His ways over the world? Why must we allow culture to dictate our actions rather than His Word? To first be a Christ follower, we must make Him our priority. He cannot come in second. Culture does not outweigh our identity with Christ! We must take up our crosses of injustice, of tolerance, of bigotry, of political correctness and the like and follow the footsteps of our Lord and Savior. He knows our struggles and UNDER GOD, His will can be accomplished in our lives. We serve a perfect God in an imperfect society. Let's make it our mission to live to please Him, not the factions of the world.

Friday, September 9, 2016

In The Presence of THE King

Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me; for I am needy. Preserve my life, for I am holy; You are my God; save Your servant who trusts in You! . . . .Teach me Your way, O Lord, I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name. (Psalm 86:1-11)
Many say they LOVE God. However, a healthy FEAR of God is lacking today. It is lacking from adults as well as our children. We have been taught to love God and serve God and to honor God. We have been taught to pray to God and to ask God for forgiveness and guidance. Yet there is way to much "casualness" when it comes to being in the presence of a HOLY, MIGHTY, ALL-KNOWING, and ALL-POWERFUL God. While we love God and we know He loves us (John 3:16), we also know He is a JEALOUS God (Exodus 34:14) and a HOLY God (1 Peter 1:16). He is PATIENT with us (2 Peter 3:9) yet DEMANDING as well (Romans 12:1). If we are indeed Christ-followers . . . His disciples . . . His children, then we must treat Him as Father, Ruler, King, and theGOD that He is! The time has come for true respect, fear, love, and dedication to our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ . . . our God and soon coming King!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Seeing is Believing

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." They are corrupt. They have done abominable works. There is none who does good. The Lord looks down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there are any who understand, who seek God. They have all turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, no, not one. (Psalm 14:1-3)
In a world where it seems that nearly everyone has forgotten about God, well maybe except for Sundays, are we not moved to make Him visible? Are we Christ-followers hiding in shame? Are we willing to step out of our comfort zone and declare that He is still God and still on the throne? Will we allow His light to shine from atop the hills or shrink under the bushel basket and allow this dark and evil world to dim the Light within each of us? Take a bold leap and let the Light of Christ confidently shine today! Let the faith within permeate our social circles this day. The Gospel is still powerful to save everyone and anyone who believes, but it must be "seen" to be believed!(Romans 1:16)

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

God loves His kids!

Thus says the Lord Who made you and formed you from the womb, Who will help you: "Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and you Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and my blessings on your offspring; they will spring up among the grass like willows by the watercourses." (Isaiah 44:2-4)
Just in case you ever doubted yourself or even attempted to believe the lies others might tell,about you . . . GOD LOVES YOU! Once called and chosen by our Heavenly Father, ABBA, our Creator Daddy, He promises to prepare a way for us and to carry it out as we obey Him and seek diligently to follow His plan for us (Hebrews 11:6). God does not simply bless any old mess however! We must be DILIGENTLY seeking after His will for us and as we push on toward "the mark"(Philippians 3:14), He promises to never leave us not forsake us (Hebrews 13:5, Deuteronomy 31:6-8, Joshua 1:9). Do we need any other encouragement? Who else needs to be on our side besides the God Who created us in HIS image to do HIS will and to bring HIM glory? The only remaining issue is will we follow HIM or the world?l

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The Attitude of Prayer

Prayer in public should not be done for men to hear and for the ones praying to be exalted, but it should be done solely as led by the Holy Spirit and to seek the Lord. The Pharisees did many things to be seen and heard and they sought the praise of men. Matthew 6:5-8 therefore has Jesus' instructions to not pray in the synagogues and street corners simply to be heard. However, Paul urges us to pray everywhere and without doubting, lifting up holy hands. So the issue is attitude, not prayer! As Jesus talked to the Samaritan, He made it clear . . .
"Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain , nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. . . . But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and truth." (John 4:21-24)
So . . . PRAY everywhere, everyday, every time we are so moved to PRAY!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Do NOT Back Down!

I often wonder why those of other doctrines tend to know more about the CHRISTian Faith than CHRISTians (we) do. It as though whenever we are confronted by someone who disagrees with our biblical doctrine that we run, hide, pull the shades and wait for them to leave. Most times we simply change the subject! Why? Are we ashamed? Are we simply lacking knowledge? Are we not confident in our faith? A blind man, blind since birth, was healed by Jesus and then questioned, along with his parents, by the Pharisees as to the length of his blindness and who had "healed" him. Even the parents feared answering and told the leaders to ask the man himself. This man however, was not afraid. He told them what he knew . . . "
Whether He is a sinner or not, I do not know. One thing is know: that though I was blind, now I see." (John 9:25)
This man was not a rabbi or priest, yet he stood up to the Pharisees, the leaders of the synagogue, and defended his beliefs even when his own parents would not. He faced excommunication from the congregation yet he chose to honor the One who healed him. He even asked if the Pharisees would like to follow Jesus as well!!! We do not need to have a seminary degree to defend the Gospel. All we need to share is what we know of Christ and what He has done for us. Stand up! Tell your story! Never back down! Someone may even choose to follow the Leader too!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

God Knows . . . But Share Anyway!

Prayer changes things . . . It changes situations and it changes attitudes. Let's list our desires, needs, emotions, fears, failures, and even successes to God today and allow His Spirit to take control so His peace may permeate not only our souls but also influence those around us.
Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man a ails much. (James 5:16)

one stable foundation,

Then  as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples said to Him, “Teacher, see what manner of stones and what buildings  are here! ” ...